The date has been announced, the campaign launched, t shirts and party songs are in abundance, but for the Parish/Constituency of St. John much more pressing issues are relevant, especially with two new candidates representing the two major political parties.
Since there will not be any proper, balanced, intellectual debates where the people of the Parish could be given some insight into the plans of the candidates while expressing their concerns about and ideas for the development of St. John, allow me to present 15 questions to the Candidates.
- What personality trait best qualifies you to provide quality and passionate representation for the People of St. John?
- As a first time Candidate reassure the populace of St. John that you are capable of service in public office by briefly describing a recent significant accomplishment in the public domain.
- St. John is home to the 400m World and Olympic Champion and has a rich sporting tradition, provide timelines and brief plans for the restoration of the sporting industry in St. John.
- There are 3 steelbands in the Parish, two of them are unsponsored and without permanent homes, provide a timeline for the establishment of band houses for Grandroy Pan Angels and Pan Ossia.
- When will the people of St. John be able to enjoy proper toilet and pavilion facilities at the Cuthbert Peters Park? Please be specific.
- There are at least 5 bridges in the Parish that are in need of immediate and urgent repair. Additionally, important main roads are in severe states of disrepair, how will the crucial infrastructural work be accomplished and maintained? In your answer please outline the prospects of funding.
- What are the plans, if any, to capitalize on the fame of Kirani James and the priceless and unprecedented exposure he has brought to the town of Gouyave and by extension the Parish of St. John? Please be specific.
- St. John has a very rich cultural traditional. Calypso tents in the Cinema, bands such as Elite’s Vibartions and Harmonies with Brass, Calypso, Soca and Road March winners, Fancy and Traditional Mas Bands, have all formed part of that tradition, how, in your opinion, can that cultural vibrancy of yesteryear be restored?
- In your opinion is a 24-hour health facility in St. John necessary? If yes outline plans for the establishment of that particular service.
- The Parish of St. John has five Primary schools, two Secondary schools, several pre-primary schools and an abundance of young, energetic, talented citizens. If your party were to form the next Government, outline briefly an agenda targeting specifically the young people of St. John.
- Agriculture has always been a significant economic pillar of the Parish, with well-known estates and a variety and wealth of produce. How will your Government restore the sector? Please highlight the areas for specific and immediate attention.
- In your opinion what is the role of the Churches in our society and do you have any plans to incorporate the religious sector in social and other programs?
- What was THE determining factor in your decision to offer yourself to the service of the people of the Parish of St. John?
- The easiest way to test the political pulse of the people, to provide an avenue for the airing of concerns and the respectable exchange of ideas is through up-close and public interaction. When was the last occasion you utilized public transportation, for example rode on a bus from Gouyave to Town?
- Briefly make a case for yourself as the next representative of the Parish of St. John, including your vision of the Parish five years from February 20th, 2013.
Dexter Mitchell (Born, raised and educated in St. John)